I'm The King of the Castle - Chapter Summaries
Chapter OneThe novel begins on a deathly note. Three months before the main events of the story, the grandmother of the Hooper household dies. Her son Joseph then refuses to live at Warings, the family home, until he owns it, i.e. until his father dies and he inherits it. This tells the reader knows immediately that the relationship between Joseph and his father is poor. Soon afterwards it becomes clear that the relationship he has with his own son is no better. Communication between Joseph and Edmund Hooper is limited and a cause of some concern to Joseph.
Edmund's mother died six years previously. This has not made him sensitive to death, and on seeing his dying grandfather he remarks coldly, 'All he looks like is one of those dead old moths'. The lack of feminine influence, coupled with their move to a house in the country (not to mention Joseph's own loneliness) has prompted his father to advertise for an 'informal' housekeeper.
Joseph has high hopes that living at Warings will improve his standing in society and make him feel like a more effective and successful person. The house is in the country and is large and imposing. The exterior is somewhat wild and intimidating with its large rhododendron bushes and yew trees. Inside it is dark and gloomy. The overall impression of the house is that it is a relic of the past, a cold and unlived-in place, which lacks any homely qualities. At the back of the house is the Red Room, which houses a collection of moths amassed by the newly departed grandfather. Edmund is fascinated by them and the chapter ends with him making a secret night time visit to the Red Room. He opens the case which houses the biggest one, the Death's Head Hawk Moth, but as soon as he touches it, it disintegrates leaving nothing but dry dust.
Chapter TwoThe Kingshaws arrive at Warings. Helena Kingshaw has been appointed as housekeeper and she and her ten-year-old son, Charles, are to live with the Hoopers. Joseph Hooper hopes that this will be advantageous to both him and Edmund. He worries about his son's brooding nature and his own inability to affect him. He assumes that having another boy of his own age around in the long summer holiday will improve life for Edmund. It is also clear that he quite fancies the idea of having some female company and he has chosen Mrs Kingshaw for more than her domestic abilities.
Hooper is unhappy about the new arrivals. He enjoys the privacy of his life at Warings and resents the idea of another boy sharing his space. The first thing he does when Kingshaw arrives is to secretly slip him a note that reads, 'I DIDN'T WANT YOU TO COME'. Kingshaw is equally unhappy about the situation. We learn that his father is dead and he and his mother have no home of their own. Mrs Kingshaw sees this as a new start.
The boys get off to a bad start. Hooper taunts Kingshaw for his family's lack of status, and mocks Kingshaw's stories about his father being a war hero. Kingshaw feels frustrated and paralysed by Hooper's verbal assaults. Hooper wants to establish his superior status as 'master' of the land and he attacks Kingshaw physically, giving him a nosebleed. Despite the adults' efforts to engineer a friendship between the boys, the relationship does not improve. Kingshaw sees chances to take revenge and assert himself with Hooper, but does not take them. Hooper continues to boss him around at every opportunity.
Chapter ThreeDesperate to escape from the daily torments of living with Hooper, Kingshaw walks into the countryside. However, he is clearly not used to the great outdoors and has difficulties walking on the uneven terrain, frequently stumbling and losing his balance. When he is attacked by a crow he is terrified and blindly runs back towards Warings. Hooper has witnessed the attack from a window in the house and taunts Kingshaw about it on his return. He dares him to return to Hang Woods and Kingshaw is resigned to doing this, despite his fear.
That night, Kingshaw wakes to find that Hooper has put a stuffed crow on his bed. He is senseless with fear but manages to lie there quietly until the morning so as not to give Hooper the satisfaction of knowing his trick worked. The crow is gone when he comes back from the bathroom in the morning. Nothing is ever said about the incident.
Hooper actually feels impressed that Kingshaw kept his cool, but becomes even more determined to find ways to get to him. His next move is to take him to the Red Room. Kingshaw finds the moths and smell of preservatives oppressive and is reluctant to enter. When he finally does go in, Hooper runs out and locks the door. Kingshaw tries to escape via the windows but they are locked so he can't get out; he is on the edge of panic. He finally escapes when the adults find him. He makes excuses and runs away quickly without telling on Hooper. He is violently sick in the bathroom. Despite the signs, the adults don't notice that anything is wrong and think the boys are becoming friends.
At this stage Kingshaw is finding life at Warings intolerable. He longs for his school, where he is happy and comfortable.
Chapter FourHooper goes on a daytrip to London with his father. Joseph attempts to deliver a stern speech, and is insistent that Hooper should make more effort to befriend Kingshaw. His son listens silently but continues to plan ways to inflict further terrors.
Meanwhile back at Warings, Kingshaw finds a room on the top floor to hide away in. He likes the room because it doesn't seem to belong to anyone. Amazingly, he manages to keep his hideaway secret for the next few days and begins to stash a collection of objects there. Eventually and inevitably, Hooper discovers his haven and sees that he is planning to run away. This delights him, as it demonstrates just how deeply he is affecting the other boy. Kingshaw now feels resigned to go. If he stays he will either have to endure Hooper's torments or defend himself, and he doesn't feel able to do either.
As this relationship worsens, Mr Hooper and Mrs Kingshaw are becoming more and more friendly. They are oblivious to the tensions between their sons, and, quite frankly, seem to only see what they want to see. They congratulate themselves on how well the situation is working out for everyone.
Chapter FiveThe adults are becoming even closer to each other. Joseph Hooper is beginning to treat Helena Kingshaw in a friendly manner, even inviting her into his sitting room. This pleases her. They begin to plan a cocktail party and decide to go to London to shop for it.
Kingshaw knows that this is his chance. He has a day to prepare the things he needs. The next morning, he wakes up early and leaves as soon as it is light. He heads down the copse in the direction of Hang Woods. As he hurries away from the house he begins to feel better. He starts to regain his confidence now he feels free of the torments inflicted upon him by Hooper. It is a misty morning and Kingshaw enjoys the feeling of isolation he gets. Even so, he is not completely free of worry. He doesn't want Hooper to see him running away, and he notices he has a wart on his hand, which he thinks may have been wished on him by a boy at school. He arrives at Hang Woods only to find he has to negotiate a fence and a muddy ditch to get in. The woods themselves look dark and spooky. Nevertheless, he steels himself and jumps into the darkness with his eyes closed.
Chapter SixOnce he is actually inside the woods, Kingshaw looks around and evaluates his environment: what he sees, hears, and smells. The author gives detailed descriptions of Kingshaw's surroundings at this point. He finds that it is much more pleasant than he expected, and he likes it. He walks into the wood, which is dense and overgrown. It is in complete contrast to the ordered, lifeless environment at Warings.
As Kingshaw reaches a dense, dark area he hears a sound and his mood changes in an instant. Notice that at this point atmosphere of the surroundings seems to change. It becomes quiet, dark and still, reflecting the change of mood. At this point Hooper appears.
Kingshaw feels defeated and powerless. Although he tries to persuade Hooper to let him go on alone, he is resigned to his presence immediately. Hooper instantly launches into an attack, saying that Kingshaw and his mother are simply servants to the Hoopers. Kingshaw can't do anything but eventually walks away into the woods, forcing Hooper to follow.
The sound of an animal stops both boys in their tracks. When Kingshaw moves forward he is amazed by the sight of a deer. It runs away before Hooper sees it. When he discovers Hooper has never seen a deer before, Kingshaw is surprised and recognises that this makes him feel more powerful than his tormenter. This feeling is short lived though, as Hooper pushes past him and assumes the position of leader. Kingshaw realises that this has put him in a subservient position, although he does nothing to challenge this. Hooper is blindly trying to follow the deer and the two boys continue to argue about what they should be doing. Eventually they realise that they are lost and each blames the other. The chapter closes to the sound of a roll of thunder.
Chapter SevenMuch to Kingshaw's surprise, the approaching storm reduces Hooper to an instant state of panic which he is powerless to control. At this point Kingshaw has the chance to take revenge on the boy who has taken so much pleasure in mocking his fears, yet he does not take it. Instead he feels sympathy for Hooper and is embarrassed to have to witness such a character transformation. He erects a makeshift shelter and comforts Hooper as best as he can. He thinks that now Hooper's fears have been exposed, their relationship will be different.
When the storm subsides it is obvious that nothing has changed. Hooper instantly assumes his old position of power, and Kingshaw realises that this will never change. Hooper leads the way to the stream despite the fact that the idea to go there for a drink was Kingshaw's.
The discovery of a dead rabbit reveals the differences between the two boy's attitudes to death. Kingshaw believes in life after death and that the body should be respected. Hooper dismisses this as stupid, saying that dead things, whether human or animal, have no significance. Kingshaw notices that the rabbit's ear is decaying and feels repulsed by it, throwing it to the ground.
They follow the stream because Hooper thinks it will lead them out of the woods. When they find a pool in a clearing Hooper instantly forgets that they are looking for a way out and jumps into the water. Kingshaw is afraid of joining him because he has always been afraid of drowning at swimming pools he has visited in the past. Once he forces himself to get in he finds that he loves it, and for a short while the boys play together as equals.
After the swim Kingshaw sets about building a fire, as they are cold and hungry. He feels that he is the responsible one and that Hooper is not taking their situation seriously. Once again Hooper begins to panic (this time about being lost) and Kingshaw is forced to take the lead. He insists on leaving Hooper alone while he goes to find a way out. He will tie a ball of string to a tree and unravel it as he walks so he can find his way back. He instructs Hooper to catch a fish while he is gone.
Once alone, Kingshaw begins to feel more positive. He thinks he is much better at coping with crises than Hooper. He is tempted to leave Hooper and go on alone, but is prevented from doing so by a sense of responsibility towards him. He doesn't believe Hooper could cope without him. When he returns to the clearing he finds Hooper face down in the water with blood pouring from his head. He has a difficult struggle to pull him out and revive him. Again, Kingshaw is impressed with his own ability to deal with this situation. Hooper, however, shows no gratitude. Despite his terror that Kingshaw will leave him, he continues to treat him in the same way, ordering him not to go.
Chapter EightIt is getting dark and they are still hungry. Kingshaw takes the initiative, and catches a fish. He can't bring himself to kill it and has to wait for it to die. Hooper, of course, mocks him for this sensitivity. When the fish is cooked it tastes disgusting and they are forced to eat most of the food they have brought with them. Once again Hooper blames Kingshaw and calls him useless, even though Kingshaw is proving himself to be the more resourceful of the boys.
Hooper begins to talk about Kingshaw's mother. He mocks her status as a woman, and argues that fathers are far more important. Then he gets more personal, saying that that she has only come to Warings to try to get his father to marry her so she will have money and a house. He argues that all women have to do this if they haven't got a husband. Although Kingshaw defends his mother, he is inwardly shocked and feels that he has been stupid not to notice this going on before. He feels a wave of hatred towards her which he superstitiously thinks will cause something bad to happen to her.
These revelations about his mother leave Kingshaw feeling troubled and unable to sleep, while Hooper rests peacefully. Kingshaw wants to hide himself safely away from the world and feels an overwhelming sense of isolation. Eventually he falls asleep, but is woken by Hooper, who is having a bad dream and repeatedly calling for his mother. At this point Kingshaw feels angry with Hooper and he wakes him quite violently. Hooper is feeling scared and unwell and begins to whine and nag. Kingshaw is matter of fact in his responses but is beginning to find the responsibility of looking after his oppressor onerous. When Hooper continues to pressure him, he snaps and shouts at Hooper, shocking him into silence. He walks off into the woods.
After a few minutes, Kingshaw calms down. He is shocked at the violence of his own feelings, and notes that this is the first time he has ever understood how it feels to hate someone. He feels guilty and is compelled to go back to Hooper and apologise, even though he knows this means he will lose any respect he might have just earned from Hooper. This shows that Kingshaw acts according to moral principles, whereas, Hooper only recognises strength and power.
Chapter NineDawn comes and the two boys lie in the sunlit tranquillity of morning. The birds are singing and the woods are benign once more. Kingshaw still assumes responsibility for the practical matters, collecting sticks to keep the fire going. He decides to go for a swim but tells Hooper he should not risk it, having been so ill. Hooper insists he didn't want to anyway and that he had made his own plans, but he is unable to muster any authority into his voice.
Both boys are content in their activities. Hooper is watching a thrush while Kingshaw relaxes luxuriously in the pool. Kingshaw is at peace for the first time in the novel. He finds the certainty of life in the woods reassuring and is transfixed by the beauty of his surroundings. When they hear the sounds of dogs and people approaching he is disappointed. He doesn't want to go back to the situation he was running away from. However, he reflects that things have definitely changed in the woods and he supposes that life at Warings will be different now.
Chapter TenBack at Warings, Hooper acts instantly to regain his power by accusing Kingshaw of pushing him in the water. Kingshaw is incensed and his reaction only serves to confirm what Hooper says. Both of the adults believe Hooper, although it is important to note that it is mainly Mrs Kingshaw who deals with the incident and it is emphasised that she is keen not to favour her own son. Kingshaw becomes abusive and violent. He has never behaved like this before and he is as shocked as his mother at his reaction. It has become clear to him that other things have changed while he and Hooper were in the woods, as the adults seem to be united. Kingshaw feels he is on the outside, and that he always has been without knowing it. He is frustrated, isolated and emotionally drained. There doesn't seem to be any point in explaining what really happened. He tries to attack Hooper, giving further credence to Hooper's story. He leaves the room in disgrace, closing the door on Hooper and the two adults.
That evening his mother comes to his room to talk to him. She doesn't seem that interested in what he has to say, and instead she urges him to change his behaviour and be grateful for the kindness Mr Hooper has shown them both. Kingshaw is unable to explain why he cannot be friends with Hooper. Mrs Kingshaw lets it slip that she has some important news but says she will tell him the next day. Kingshaw realises that she is going to marry Hooper's father and condemn him to live with his enemy. He wants to return to the 'terrifying and safe' wood away from people, who have only let him down.
Chapter ElevenAt the breakfast table, Mr Hooper announces that Kingshaw will be going to the same school as Hooper from now on. Kingshaw is horrified. Not only did he love his old school, but now he has no escape from Hooper. He runs away from Warings and hides in a shed in some nearby allotments where he thinks he will be safe. Straightaway the door bangs closed and is locked from the outside. Kingshaw is trapped in the shed and left to surmise that Hooper must have locked him in. He doesn't know this for sure though, as his captor was silent, and pretty soon his imagination gets to work and he dreams up all sorts of gruesome things that could happen, like the things he has read about in the newspapers in the school library. He thinks about going to school with Hooper and is naturally fearful about what this might mean. He is so afraid that he vomits on the floor of the shed.
Eventually, Kingshaw falls asleep. He has a terrible nightmare about a Punch and Judy show but he is woken by a scratching noise outside. This transpires to be Hooper, who begins to taunt him mercilessly. He tells Kingshaw that he is going to make his life at school a misery and there will be nothing he can do about it. He then tries to frighten Kingshaw by playing on things he knows he is scared of. Kingshaw bravely resolves not to give into this, and that he will not under any circumstances ask Hooper to release him from the shed. Hooper continues to verbally terrorise him, until finally he can't take anymore and breaks down in tears. At this point he realises Hooper has gone again, leaving him with his fears and no idea of how long he is likely to be in the shed.
Some time elapses before Hooper returns and swings open the shed door. He tells Kingshaw he is late for lunch and had better hurry up. Back at the house Hooper tells Mrs Kingshaw they have been playing bandits. She doesn't notice how despondent her son is as he walks back to the house.
In this chapter, Kingshaw is beginning to feel defeated. He had hoped that things would be different after the experiences in the woods, but realises he will never be in that position again. Hooper's persecution of him has become systematic and he doesn't know how to fight it (or even seem to be thinking about overcoming it).
Chapter TwelveMr Hooper decides they should have a day out at Leydell Castle. Mrs Kingshaw is grateful to him for this and feels special. Both of the adults are acting as if they are one big happy family but are too wrapped up in themselves to pay much attention to what the boys are doing.
Kingshaw is a confident climber and soon begins to scale the castle walls. The sense of freedom this gives him is exhilarating. He sees Hooper down on the ground and knows that here, as in the woods, he is more adaptable and has the upper hand. He shouts out that he is 'King of the Castle' but even as he says it he knows that this is only true for as long as they stay here. He can see Hooper is afraid of climbing up, so dares him to try it. Hooper does, but soon ends up stuck on a ledge and too scared to move. Kingshaw nimbly climbs down to him and tells him to stop being stupid and climb down. Hooper wants him to go first so he can hold onto him, but this is impossible as the ledge is too narrow for Kingshaw to pass. Kingshaw tries to persuade Hooper to listen to his instructions, which will tell him how to get down. He recognises that once again he is in a position of power, and he could even kill Hooper at this moment. Once again, his morality guides him, and he decides he must over come his hatred of Hooper and help him off the ledge. As he reaches out a hand to help him, Hooper loses his balance and falls. It is obvious that Kingshaw will be blamed for this too.
Chapter ThirteenIn the aftermath of Hooper's fall nobody pays any attention to Kingshaw. He stays on the wall in a dreamlike state, watching as Hooper is taken away on a stretcher. He believes Hooper is dead and can't stop thinking about a reading from a school assembly: 'Whereupon the soul flew from the body'. The boy who read this out had also bullied Kingshaw, although to a lesser extent than Hooper.
On the way home, Kingshaw tries to explain to his mother that Hooper fell. She refuses to talk about it, but back at the house she makes him promise to never do anything so dangerous again. Kingshaw is frightened by the tone of her request, which is delivered with a sense of urgent desperation.
While the adults are at the hospital, Kingshaw is left alone with Mrs Boland. They watch TV and Kingshaw is frightened by a sinister scene in which a blind man is being followed. He goes to the kitchen but can still hear the sound of screaming on the TV. Mrs Boland sends him to bed. Lying in bed he is comforted by the realisation that he might not have to change schools after all, now Hooper is dead.
He goes to sleep and has another vivid nightmare. On waking he is compelled to go and seek comfort from his mother but she is not in her room. He stumbles out to the dark landing, crying uncontrollably, until he is swept up in Mr Hooper's arms and taken to the sitting room. When he says that he thinks Hooper is dead, the adults think this is the cause of his upset and they reassure him that Hooper is in fact alive. Mr Hooper carries him back to bed and he is ashamed to find himself deeply comforted by having a man's protection. He lies in bed mulling over the fact that Hooper isn't dead after all, and finds that he cannot sleep.
Chapter FourteenHooper has been in hospital with a broken leg for a week. Mr Hooper is in London on business, so Mrs Kingshaw has been visiting Hooper in hospital every day. Hooper doesn't like Mrs Kingshaw but is spitefully pleased at the thought that he is stealing her from Kingshaw. Meanwhile Kingshaw enjoys being by himself and occupies his time by making models and doing puzzles.
The chapter opens with Mrs Kingshaw trying to get her son to talk about Hooper, still insisting that the boys are friends. Even though Kingshaw states quite clearly that he is no friend of Hooper's, she asks him to buy him a present. He refuses and tells her he wished Hooper had died.
Kingshaw hates the way his mother has behaved since Hooper's fall. He thinks she has been fussing around Mr Hooper and doesn't think this is right. He is also ashamed of himself because he allowed Mr Hooper to comfort him on the night of the accident. He thinks this is a sign of weakness and that he should have been able to handle his feelings by himself. He remembers a boy at school, called Fenwick, who was fiercely independent after hurting himself badly. Kingshaw wants to be like Fenwick.
One day Kingshaw wanders into the village church. He starts to pray for forgiveness for the bad thoughts he has had about Hooper. As if from nowhere a boy appears and starts to talk to him in an easy manner. He knows who Kingshaw is and where he lives, even though Kingshaw knows absolutely nothing about him. They play a game and the boy - Fielding invites Kingshaw to his farm, where they watch a calf being born. Everything at the farm is in contrast to Warings. It is full of life and happiness. Fielding is kind and straightforward. His mother is simple and doesn't wear fancy clothes and jewellery, like Mrs Kingshaw.
Kingshaw is invited to stay for dinner so goes back to Warings to ask permission. His mother has returned from the hospital and informs him that Hooper will be coming home the next day. When Kingshaw explains to Fielding about Hooper, he doesn't understand the nature of the problem, having never experienced such a complex situation. He advises Kingshaw to stand up for himself. Kingshaw wants to keep Fielding as his own friend and is happy and confident in his company. He is delighted when Hooper does not come home the next day after all as he can spend more time with his new friend. This is a period of welcome respite for Kingshaw.
Chapter FifteenHooper returns from hospital and the persecution resumes. Mrs Kingshaw insists that her son should stay in and keep his 'friend' company. It doesn't matter how many times Kingshaw reiterates his feelings about Hooper - the adults have decided to ignore this kind of behaviour. Kingshaw appears to be in the wrong constantly, while Hooper gets away with his horrible behaviour.
Tired of being with Hooper, Kingshaw decides to visit Fielding under the pretence of going to the shop for an ice cream. However, his mother insists that he comes straight back and he knows he is doomed to do as she says. As he eats his ice cream, the Fieldings' Land Rover pulls up full of cows going to market. One of them is the calf Kingshaw saw being born and he is horrified to learn that it is going to be sold for veal. He has to turn down the invitation to accompany them. Although part of him is relieved not to have to experience the unknown world of the market, he regrets that he cannot spend time with Fielding anymore. When he gets back to Warings, Hooper reveals that he knows all about Fielding and Kingshaw feels a further sense of loss.
Mr Hooper takes Kingshaw to London to get a new school uniform. Kingshaw feels this is the end of everything for him. He is suspicious of Mr Hooper's motives for paying for his uniform and school fees, which has provided further ammunition for Hooper's taunts. Mr Hooper believes he and Kingshaw are getting on well and notes how everything has improved for him since Mrs Kingshaw arrived. He is absorbed in thoughts about her and the effect she has had on him, noting the different ways in which he has changed, becoming more impetuous and confident, even in relation to his own son.
When they get back to Warings, Kingshaw finds that his mother has given Hooper the model he made while Hooper was in hospital. He is furious about this and his apparently petulant display is brought to a halt when Mr Hooper slaps him in the face and his mother backs him up. He tries to get the model back from Hooper, who throws it against the wall. Only Kingshaw is chastised. He is becoming increasingly more isolated and hopeless.
Chapter SixteenThe chapter begins with a telephone call between Mrs Kingshaw and her old friend Enid. She discusses her new life at Warings, thinking about how safe she has felt since her arrival - in contrast to her life before. She hints that they may live elsewhere in the future. The conversation is overheard by both Kingshaw and Mr Hooper, both of whom are puzzled by it. Mr Hooper reflects on his sexual nature and how his first marriage was lacking in this respect. He is confused and excited by the promise of a sexual relationship with Mrs Kingshaw. Kingshaw is also confused and worries that they might start moving around again as they did in the past. He remembers a period of living in a private hotel and how this was a source of shame for him. He was also frightened of an old lady called Miss Mellitt, who also lived there.
The first person to tell Kingshaw of the forthcoming marriage between the adults is, of course, Hooper, who loves to use knowledge as power. However, Kingshaw is less angry about it than Hooper himself, who doesn't like the idea of sharing the house and being on an equal footing with Kingshaw. Kingshaw is still disturbed by the thought of spending the rest of his life with Hooper and that night he cries.
The whole 'family' go on a visit to the circus, despite the fact the Mrs Kingshaw is aware that Kingshaw is frightened by it. He hates the whole performance which reminds him of so many frightening experiences in his past. After the show, he is sick.
It transpires that the trip to the circus was a prelude to the big announcement that Mr Hooper and Mrs Kingshaw are to be married. The date is set for September 10th and after the service they will drive the boys to their school; an act which they think will be comforting to Kingshaw.
Things go further wrong for Kingshaw when his mother visits the Fielding household and invites Fielding for lunch. In his mind the friendship has already been contaminated and Kingshaw is anxious but powerless to stop his friend from coming to Warings. When the day comes Kingshaw is resigned to losing his friend to Hooper. Fielding is such a simple and honest boy that he doesn't understand the relationship between Kingshaw and Hooper. He can see something is wrong, but doesn't know what to do about it. Hooper tries to work out ways of getting at Fielding but his open and honest nature is impossible to manipulate so he has to satisfy himself with snide comments about Kingshaw. Fielding senses the battle between the two boys and tries to please both of them. He suggests visiting his farm to look at their new tractor. Kingshaw is defeated. Once Hooper goes to the farm, then Fielding is no longer just his friend and he can't share him with Hooper. He does not fight, but simply stays behind, much to Fielding's bewilderment. Everything Kingshaw valued has been lost to Hooper. He takes Hooper's list of battle regiments, rips them to pieces and sets fire to them.
Chapter SeventeenIt is September 9th and preparations for the wedding and start of school are complete. Hooper has still not said anything about Kingshaw's destruction of his battle sheets. Somehow, Kingshaw finds this more ominous than anything Hooper might actually do. The anticipation of attack is unbearable and Kingshaw knows he will have no protection at school. That night Hooper leaves him a threatening note which brings on still more nightmares.
Kingshaw wakes at dawn with an idea. He goes to Hang Woods, just as he did earlier that summer. In the woods he feels peaceful again. He goes to the stream and after only a moment's hesitation, wades in and drowns himself.
When they discover he is missing, Hooper guesses where to find him. At the stream he sees Kingshaw's dead body and is overcome with triumph at what he has driven him to do. Ironically, Mrs Kingshaw thinks he is upset and the novel closes with her comforting the bully, who drove her son to suicide.